His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said of Oman has issued a Royal Decree allowing the citizens of AGCC countries to be treated as Omani employees in accordance with the Sultanate's Civil Service Law and its executive regulations.

Privileges include basic salary, allowances, annual increment, leave, and compensation against death and injury. The decree, which comes into force from the date of its issuance, accords AGCC citizens working as civil service employees in the Sultanate, the same rights enjoyed by Omani civil service employees.

This is in implementation of a decision taken by the AGCC Supreme Council in Bahrain last December 30-31. The last summit took several other important decisions as well - to forge closer links between the six member states, the armed forces in particular.

A joint currency is also on the cards. The Sultanate, which hosts the next summit in December, has already allowed AGCC citizens special travel facilities and the right to buy real estate in Oman.

Another Royal Decree appoints Sayyid Hilal bin Hamad Al Busaidi, State Adviser for Justice Affairs, as the first president of the new Supreme Court, while Sayyid Said bin Hilal Al Busaidi, currently president of the Criminal Court, the country's highest until the new decree, will be Vice-President.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Rashid Al Siyabi, Sheikh Ishaq bin Ahmed Al Busaidi, Ali bin Salim bin Ali Al Namani, Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Said Al Kabi, Khalifa bin Said bin Khalifa Al Busaidi and Hassan bin Zahir Al Hilali have been appointed judges of the Supreme Court.

The decree comes into force from the date the Judicial Authority Law takes effect. Another Royal Decree amends the Private Societies Law, saying that a new article shall be added to the Local Societies Law.

Yet another Royal Decree reappoints the Sultan Qaboos University Council. It further states that two of the Omani teaching staff will be appointed by the university's president for two years rotationally.